Blogging For Beginners
When you’re starting a blog you won’t want to look like a beginner so you’ll want to avoid making these blogging mistakes.
If you’re not careful, flying a few red flags on your blog will make it fairly obvious to a site visitor that you’re just starting your first blog.
So to make sure you don’t look like the new kid on the block, this is what you should do when starting a blog.
Starting a blog by avoiding these pitfalls will give it the perfect base from which to launch itself to achieving great things.
5 Pro Tips For Starting a Blog
1. A Professional Domain
Don’t use a free domain as this is a dead give away that you’re a newbie and reeks of non-professionalism.
I mean would you trust a website with these types of domain?
www.mysite.wordpress.com or www.mysite.blogspot.com
I don’t think you would as they’re obviously free to use blogging platforms, on the other hand a domain like this www.mysite.com would be far more impressive.
You therefore should sign up with a reputable web hosting company like Bluehost.com, where you can get a package for $2.95 a month.
This includes free WordPress functionality (1 click to install WordPress) for your blog as well as all the tools you’ll need to create a professional looking blog.
Another dead give away of a newbie blog is one that doesn’t display a favicon.
Your favicon is your image that appears on the tab above or next to your web address in most browsers like mine here » »
By not having your own favicon displaying here, it shouts “newbie” to anyone familiar with browsing the web.
With a decent web host you’ll easily be able to upload your favicon through your themes options in your control panel.
3. Plugins & Widgets
WordPress makes it so easy to download & install plugins & widgets many of which seem really useful.
The downside however, is that by having too many on your blog makes your pages slow to load and we all know that Google favours fast sites & penalises slow ones, so…
So go through all of your plugins and be pretty ruthless by deleting all the ones you don’t need and do the same for widgets.
The widgets that you can’t make up your mind about can be moved into the “Inactive Widgets” box for later use if you change your mind.
4. Permalink Structure
Not only does a url like this, http://www.internetbusiness.co.za/?post=282, not look very informative or professional, but it also damages your site’s SEO.
It’s very easy to change to look like something like this, http://www.internetbusiness.co.za/marketing-tools/
On your dashboard just scroll down to Settings -> Permalinks and then select Custom Structure and insert this code -> /%postname%/
This will ensure all your posts’ urls will be SEO friendly as well as look professional.
So many new bloggers write huge chunks of text that just make the post look uninteresting and uninviting.
Remember first impressions are everything, so despite content being of good value it’s unlikely to be read by it’s target market if it’s formatting is poorly done.
It’s a good idea to divide your blog posts up with headings and sub-headings, and where appropriate, include bullet list of facts or information.
Also include images as they draw the eye to your content – not too many though & make sure they’re optimised so as not to slow your page’s load speed.
Make your paragraphs short and include charts & diagrams to illustrate a point.
Darren Browse of Problogger fame describes how just by re-formatting an old blog post (keeping the content the same) it gained so much more readership & comments almost overnight.